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OAS Permanent Council Hosts Grenada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs

  March 16, 2011

The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) today held a special session with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, Environment and Export Development of Grenada, Karl I. J. Hood, who stressed the need to maintain a constructive dialogue in the continent in order to strengthen the role of the hemispheric organization.

Minister Hood began his remarks by referring to the “noble ideal of hemispheric integration that characterizes the OAS” and recalled that when Grenada assumed its independence in 1973, the OAS was one of the first international organizations in which Grenada sought membership. “Today, the Government of Grenada, remains true to the conviction that led us to join the OAS 36 years ago –the conviction that the interests of our individual countries and the aspirations of our citizens are best served by a hemisphere united in its determination,” he said.

The Foreign Minister of Grenada, the country that currently holds the Chairmanship of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), highlighted the role of both institutions and affirmed that the OAS and CARICOM “must continue as strategies for regional integration.” Minister Hood encouraged member countries of both organizations to “remain resolute in ensuring that these institutions remain faithful to their founding objectives; continue their endeavors to seek the collective good of all the citizens of this Hemisphere; and evolve into even more efficient and effective mechanisms for regional unity and development.”

The head of the Grenadian diplomacy also offered his government’s support in the preparation of the XLI OAS General Assembly and the VI Summit of the Americas of 2012. “As this Organization prepares for two major multilateral processes that are important for hemisphere-wide policy making, direction and implementation, Grenada believes that we have an invaluable opportunity and an unavoidable responsibility to ensure that the delivery of benefits to our citizens is our primary focus and objective.”

As part of his speech, Minister Hood gave an overview of the main challenges faced in the region; among them he mentioned citizen security; the fight against terrorism; social, economic and financial stability; natural disasters and citizen welfare.

“It is that message of renewal and relevance which I would like to underscore today. We must remain true to the ideals on which this Organization is founded, even in the face of new international realities and regional challenges that inevitably demand so much more from us. We must forge innovative responses that are effective in continuing to deliver our Charter objectives. We must reassert the truth that socio-economic development is essential for our peoples, our nations and our Hemisphere to achieve those objectives,” the Grenadian Minister said.

OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza welcomed the Caribbean Minister and agreed on the priority issues that he referred to. "As we face the next General Assembly and in the preparations for the Summit of the Americas, we must reflect on the priority issues pertaining to our organization. Certainly, one of them is the issue of crime, one that concerns us, not only for the high and unprecedented levels of crime in many countries of our region, but also for the imminent danger that organized crime represents," Secretary General Insulza said, also recalling that citizen security will be the theme of the General Assembly in El Salvador in June, and is also a regional priority, given that "the lack of security for our citizens is damaging very deeply our democracy."

Secretary General thanked the government of Grenada for its cooperation during the time it served as Vice President of the Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE) this past year, and recalled that in the coming weeks the country will assume the Chairmanship of the Permanent Council. “We are convinced that this country will produce great work during an important time, the time of preparation for the General Assembly.” He also recalled that Grenada was the first Caribbean country to host a meeting of the General Assembly in 1977.

Regarding the Summit of the Americas to take place in Cartagena, Colombia, in April 2012, the head of the hemispheric Organization explained that the OAS “sees it as a moment of redefining our hemispheric relations, and as a way to deal with the challenges that truly are hemispheric”.

In the context of the Minister of Grenada’s visit, the representatives of the Member States that participated in the session of the Permanent Council recognized the leadership role that the country plays in multilateral relations, as well as in CARICOM and in the OAS; its unrestricted support to Haiti; and the support that contributes to strengthen the organization’s work.

During his visit to OAS headquarters, Minister Hood held private meetings with the Secretary General and with OAS Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-572/11